farewell facebook [a challenge for august]

Social media has been good to me.

Facebook and Twitter have played significant roles in me being exposed to new knowledge and stories of those who live such different lives from me. I have listened and I have soaked in many voices that I might have otherwise never heard, helping me become a more empathetic person. I have found my own voice and discovered new passions and made new friends. I have become more open minded and curious. My beliefs have evolved in various religious, political and social ways, and I have learned how to have constructive and respectful conversation with those who believe differently than I.

I have become passionate about social justice. I hope we all have, but I understand that we are going to be passionate about different social issues and causes. I have friends who are passionate about saving babies from abortion. I have friends who are passionate about helping abused animals. I have friends who are passionate about caring for our homeless sisters and brothers. I have friends who are passionate about rescuing women and men who are being trafficked. I hope and pray that there is a fire in you to make this world a better place and I hope and pray that you are not silent about those things. I’ve become a card-carrying Jesus Feminist, and my attempt to love like Jesus and my passion for uplifting and caring for women (all women, not just the women who look like me) has informed the way I talk, the way I shop, the way I care for others, the way I approach healthcare issues, poverty issues, racial justice and my pro-life position.

Social media has been good to me. And I have become a better person in a lot of ways.

Social media has also given me many incredible career opportunities. I have managed social media accounts for major sports industry brands and events. As a young professional, social media has also played a significant role in my career development. I have an extensive professional network on Twitter and have been offered various job opportunities through contacts I first connected with in industry-related Twitter conversations. Twitter has consistently been one of the primary sources for my professional development and continues to be. It’s not an extension of my resume, but rather my resume is an extension of @MorganStrehlow. I will always hope that my social media accounts are screened when I am being considered for a job.

While social media has been so good to me, I also feel that social media has been damaging for me. I won’t spend time unpacking this sentiment, but it is worthy of acknowledgement.

After being a full-time digital media professional for two years, I am finally out of the digital media profession and have the opportunity to recover from the noise and the information overload. If you know me at all, you know I love to learn – but I need to step away from doing that in this space right now. I internalize things and feel emotion and empathy and anger very intensely. Facebook too often contributes to these episodes of great sadness and rage, as I have an unhealthy attachment to Facebook and I need to create some distance.

I am going to spend August away from Facebook. I need to quiet the noise. I need to live from a place of more wholeness and peace and contentment. I am going to prepare my heart for a new house, a new educational experience, a new life and family being built here in Arkansas. I am going to finally learn the art of living in the present. I want to make more room in my life to enjoy my current job and make a real and tangible difference in my work. I want to continue to discover who I am outside of my work. I want to get outside more and breath in this Natural State and all of its beauty. I want to read a couple more books from my bookshelf before my doctoral classes begin and my reading load becomes academic. I want to be less anxious about the greater society and be more present, whole and fully alive in the place I’m in now, and with the new people in my life I now call friends. I want to retreat and be intentional about my self care so that I can better care for the people around me. I want to simplify.

I also hope to create more time for reflection and writing. And perhaps some of that writing I will share in this space? Maybe.

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